January 21, 2015
The so-called smart-bands come embedded with contactless technologies to offer perhaps the easiest way to pay. These smart-bands are capable of storing transaction information and thus find usage in payment applications. Numerous payment methods have sprung up over the past years and so have new ways to initiate those. Smart bands can indeed be one of the most convenient and interesting way of making payments. Here are some existing smart bands in the market that you can adopt:
The bPay band has been developed by Barclaycard although it can be used by anyone, regardless of who they bank with. The band contains a smart chip and a tiny radio antenna that triggers a payment when it is swiped over a terminal, thus enabling NFC based contactless payments. Barclaycard is trialing the contactless payment wristband in London. If the trial is successful the device will be rolled out nation-wide this year. As part of the trial, 10,000 bands were made available to commuters in London. Users effectively load money on to the band from their own debit or credit card via the bPay website and then make purchases up to a value of £20 ($32) on a single item. They can top it up themselves online or arrange for cash to be automatically loaded if it falls below a set trigger point of, for example, £5 ($8).
Wearable technology startup MEVU offers a wearable bitcoin wallet that tracks movement in order to make payments. The band is powered by Coinbase’s wallet API and enables users to send bitcoin with just a flick of the wrist. The MEVU wristband employs an advanced InvenSense motion sensor for its gesture functionality. The transactions are transmitted to a point-of-sales (POS) device using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Here is a video illustration highlighting how MEVU’s smart band works:
Bionym’s Nymi wearable armband uses your unique ECG (electrocardiogram) biometric signature to securely identify you to various services and devices. The Toronto-based startup also provides Nymi users with an easy to use and secure Bitcoin wallet. This wearable Bitcoin wallet enables consumers to make secure payments using the most secure digital payment method, without having to use your phone, tablet or computer. Nymi is tied directly to an individual’s ECG biometric signature, which means that if it is lost, nobody can access your funds. The technology within Nymi works much like Bitcoin, as both are backed by security that is built into the code. When you complete a transaction using Bitcoin, each user agrees to the amount and the transaction is verified multiple times.
Token is a wearable bracelet connected to select payment accounts – from checking and savings, to credit cards, digital currencies, and PayPal account. Unlike a credit card, it features a security mechanism based on three unique aspects—a unique biometric like a thumb print, a PIN code and the device itself. Unlike a credit card, it becomes useless when lost or stolen as only your print (or pin) can authorize it. Token is contextually aware of a merchant’s wi-fi and can receive product information and transmit payment details with the touch of a finger.
The Wirecard Smart Band offers contactless payment function. It is wirelessly connected to an app on a smartphone and via Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE). In order to carry out a contactless payment, the user should first preload a one-off token to their payment band via their smartphone. This is made possible through Wirecard’s NFC host card emulation technology. One token will be used for each payment transaction. The tokens replace card data that has been provided, which is stored in a secure server. The Wirecard Smart Band can also be used to make payments when the user’s mobile phone is in offline mode.
CaixaBank Visa Wristband
CaixaBank offers a Visa wristband that allows users to make easy payments at merchants using the contactless system. The band allows the bank's customers to carry payment cards on their wrists, making for fast and convenient payments at more than 300,000 businesses across Spain. The wristband uses contactless payment technology: inside is a microtag with the customer’s encrypted card details, protected with the same security guarantees as normal cards (EMV system). The contactless chip connects the wristband to PoS systems to complete transactions just like a standard contactless card.